Traveling northward from Ocracoke, we arrive by ferry at Hatteras Island. Hatteras is the first town on the island, and is primarily a deep sea sport fishing and vacation rental venue.
They had a weird contraption hanging on the wall at the ferry terminal.
I thought maybe it was an antique I-Tunes player, but no matter how many quarters you put in it only plays one tune - a pretty boring one at that.
Right next door to the terminal. is the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.
The museum features displays on several subject matter - the history of sport fishing being one.
A larger display area is devoted to the history of SCUBA diving and gear.
There are also displays on various shipwrecks - here is the hatch from a German submarine that was sunk closeby.
This is where the distress call from the Titanic came in, so there is a fair amount of space and a number of informative displays dealing with the construction, the launch, the christening and the sinking of that ship.
And as we saw at the Museum in Beaufort SC, there were a lot of Blackbeard related items and some history on his boat, the Queen Anne's Revenge.
I couldn't tell if the plate looks like our friend Chester Lynn's Plate or not. They are both old and dark grey - that is about the extent of my expertise.
Locals got a tasty surprise back in 2006 when a freighter called the Courtney L lost a couple of containers of Doritos.
I imagine more than one local got sick of those over the next few months.
The lamp from the nearby Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is here - but vandals stole many of the prisms from the lens years back.
Speaking of which, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is just a few miles up the street in a town called Buxton, but still on Hatteras Island.
Built in 1802 and expanded several times in the 1800's, at 150 feet it is the United States' tallest lighthouse.
Hatteras island is on the move though - heading toward the mainland at a rate of about 2,500 feet per century. When it was built it sat about a half mile off the beach, but erosion has taken its toll. Back in '99, the lighthouse was just moved back off the shore about a half mile, and will need to be moved again in another century if sea levels remain the same. Following is a photo of it before it was moved.
Image from the museum
Moving it was quite the project. It was jacked up, a platform put underneath it and the whole affair was put on rails.
Image from the museum
Up the road another few miles is the Outer Bank's third lighthouse - the Bodie Island Lighthouse.
Lighthouses were built here in the 1830's and 1840's, neither of them lasting long. This one was built in the 1870's and is usually open for climbing and photos.
A neat little museum that is easy to miss in Hatteras is the old weather station.
Built in 1901 and restored a few years ago by the National Park Service, it serves as a visitors center and a mini-museum.
There are a number of informative displays about the history of weather tracking.
Up the street a little further, we find Carl Bornfriend.
Carl is a mischievous fellow, even at 83 years. Well, 83 and a half he told me - 84 in September. The old and the young count those half years.
Carl was born and raised in Pennsylvania, where as a boy he was fascinated with all of the relics of the Indian culture he could find lying about on the ground in the woods and fields surrounding him.
He expanded his search to flea markets and garage sales, and started to amass a good many items. This all resulted in a museum that sits a few miles up the road from Hatteras.
The museum has been added to a number of times - it is a lot bigger than it looks. There are thousands and thousands of exhibits.
Footwear, pottery, weaponry, utensils, clothing, musical instruments, transportation, dwellings - Carl collected it all.
Carl, a 1949 graduate of agriculture school moved to this area a bit over thirty years ago to teach. He has taught a wide variety of subjects in the public schools, in universities and as continuing education. His wife of thirty years retired from the local school system as superintendent, and you can tell by watching the two together that they are still in love.
I do wish I had more time and that Carl could have walked me through the displays. There is a lot of neat stuff here that has to have fascinating stories behind it.
Carl thinks money is overrated - he thinks we all should barter more. When I commented that he must be a good barterer to have acquired so many objects, he quickly talked about the times he came out on the short end.
He was kind enough to give me a case of drinking water on my way out, which I was very grateful for. If verbal sparring is your thing, Carl is a worthy adversary. There was a day that I used to enjoy engaging in battles of wits, but at some point I put down my spear. Carl will wear you out if you engage - I am not surprised he has had so much success haggling.
A lot of the roads through this area are on ground that seems pretty stable. Quite often you can clearly see the sound on the one side and the ocean on the other side of the road.
In other areas, it is clear that things are on the move.
After all, it was less than four years ago that this was the scene here.
Hurricane Irene came through and established another inlet across Hatteras. There is a temporary sort of steel bridge there. Another larger bridge connects Pea Island with Bodie Island, crossing Oregon Inlet.
And then there are the boats. A lot of people have the large sport fishing boats here.
Small marinas are everywhere, and they are full of boats. Today was the first nice day in a while, and the boaters were heading out en masse.
It seems most of the houses are vacation rentals - very extensive with their many decks and porches, pools and spas, out door showers and the like.
There are a few that don't fit the typical mold.
And, of course, lots of places to rent stuff. Kayaks, wind sails, stand up paddle boards and the like are in plentiful supply. There are also a number of scuba diving shops for those inclined to dive on the submerged shipwrecks that dot the area.
It is a beautiful spot. But the constant movement of the dunes, there aren't many mature trees. This means a constant breeze - a blessing on warm days.
There are a lot of little niches that would make great photos if one had the time to wait for the best lighting and to seek out the best angles.
The beaches here are open to 4WD vehicle traffic year around, and many surf fishermen are seen heading out when the tide is right.
That brings us to today's "Faces in the Crowd," from Carl's collection.
I have to wonder about the thought process that developed this kind of art over the years. These things didn't just happen - they evolved over time. Carl's place is a great one to see many specimens, well worth a visit.
Today's parting shot was taken up the street a few miles from Carl's.
On the personal front, I found showers, a good church, some great people, a good place for wi-fi, coin operated laundry machines that are only $1.00 and a nice hot tub in Nags Head. So I am living in style for a few days. I was able to do laundry, clean the van out and read a few things today. Showers and good wifi were hard to come by since Beaufort, and it feels good to feel clean and organized again.
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